Existing-home sales in North Texas finished last year 17 percent ahead of 2012, making it the biggest sales year since the housing slump started, according to the latest report from the Texas A&M University Real Estate Center.
In all, 88,562 homes were sold in the 29-county North Texas area in 2013, topping 2012 sales by 13,355 homes and well above the 2008 total of 76,362, the report shows. Annual home sales dipped as low as 63,851 in 2010.
Boosting the annual number was a 9 percent increase in December, typically a slow time of the year. In North Texas, 6,259 homes were sold.
Jim Gaines, an economist with the Real Estate Center, said job and population growth were among the reasons for the strong sales. He said 2014 sales could be just as strong.
“If 2012 was the first year of the recovery from the downturn, 2013 was the jump up to where we were,” Gaines said. “The fact that we’re even that close to the prior peak makes it interesting.”
The National Association of Realtors said recently that 2013 sales would be the best nationwide in seven years, but higher mortgage rates and home prices will have some effect on sales this year.
Nationwide, existing-home sales are expected to reach 5.1 million for 2013, a gain of almost 10 percent over 2012, the group said.
“We may have reached a cyclical low because the positive fundamentals of job creation and household formation are likely to foster a fairly stable level of contract activity in 2014,” said Lawrence Yun, the association’s chief economist, in a statement.
The National Association of Home Builders also said buyer traffic was up in December even though there was a lower inventory of new homes for sale.
Separately, Dallas-based Residential Strategies said home building in the fourth quarter was flat, with 4,514 starts, compared with 4,598 starts in the fourth quarter of 2012. But, builders produced 20,778 in all of last year, 15.5 percent more than 2012, the firm said.
“Some builders reported mixed results with regard to buyer traffic and sales early in the quarter,” said Ted Wilson, principal with Residential Strategies. “But generally most builders shared with RSI that their overall sales results remained positive for the quarter, especially at the higher price points. The strong local economy continues to generate solid housing demand.”
New home closings climbed during the quarter, the firm said. Dallas-Fort Worth builders closed on 5,218 homes between October and December, an increase of 720 homes from the year-ago quarter.
New-home supply remains an issue. In Fort Worth, 224 model homes were available in the fourth quarter of 2012 and only 883 new homes were completed, less than a two-month supply, Residential Strategies reports.
In North Texas, the median existing-home sales price for all of 2013 was $174,000, up 10 percent from 2012, the Real Estate Center report said.
The figure is below the national median existing-home price of $197,300, which was up 12 percent from 2012, the Realtor group said.
In the Tarrant County area, Roanoke and Kennedale saw the highest percentage gains in December from a year ago.
The number of houses listed for sale in North Texas in December dipped to 19,100, a 13 percent drop from December 2012, the Real Estate Center said.
The Real Estate Center compiles sales data from real estate listing services.
|Area||Sales||% changeyear ago||Medianprice||% changeyear ago|
|83||Central W. Arlington||40||38%||$133,500||5%|
|84||Central E. Arlington||13||0%||$72,000||29%|
|87||Far SW Arlington||64||73%||$152,500||22%|
|88||Far SE Arlington||101||1%||$133,000||20%|
|102||Saginaw, north FW||148||33%||$143,500||17%|
|106||South FW, Everman, Forest Hill||11||-39%||$67,500||17%|
|107||Central west and southwest FW||42||-16%||$230,750||34%|
|108||Central west FW||64||16%||$252,750||12%|
|109||Northwest FW,River Oaks, Azle||109||38%||$133,160||9%|
|111||South FW, Crowley||113||-16%||$124,450||14%|
|112||Far west FW,Benbrook,White Settlement||77||38%||$122,500||2%|
|127||N. Richland Hills,Richland Hills||59||-8%||$137,900||-11%|
|129||Haltom City, Riverside||31||55%||$83,250||4%|
|130||FW Summerfields, Park Glen||178||27%||$164,750||11%|
|132||Trophy Club, Westlake||21||0%||$211,030||-36%|
Source: Texas A&M Real Estate Center